Cre8ing With Station 8: The Inspiring Arts and Crafts Era
I love to stroll thru the historic housing districts of every town/city I visit just to see all the beautiful homes. All the different architectural styles that can be represented in one old neighborhood amaze me! The history and creativity of the designs inspire me. Inspiration I use in creating some of the ideas behind the displays in the shop! They make me think about what went into the planning, design decisions, and functionality of the choices they made based on their lifestyle during that time period. In all the different styles throughout the years I have yet to find one that inspires me as much as the Arts and Crafts style. A beautiful Bungalow makes me swoon! It is one of my goals in life to own one of these beauties. I am so inspired by this design, and its effect on the décor of that time, that I would like to share with you all the history of the Arts and Crafts movement (and one special house in particular).
The Arts and Craft movement began in England in the 1860’s. William Morris, John Ruskin and Philip Webb are credited with its conception. The idea was born out of disgust with the industrial revolution and mass production. The theory was designed to emphasize craftsmanship, and handiwork, which also made it more expensive.
It arrived here in America in the late 1890’s, and continued to be popular through the 1930’s. The first Arts and Crafts exhibition happened in Boston in April of 1897, it showcased the work of 160 craftsmen (half of which were women), and featured over 1000 objects. From there the Society of Arts and Crafts was born in June of that same year. This movement coincided with the decline of the Victorian “over decorated” era, and focused on simpler lines and functional pieces. It promoted hand crafted items, and homes that were made out of local wood, glass, stone, and metal work.
It also coincided with the growth of the American middle class, and the switch from homes that were designed for a society that housed servants, to the era where women did their own cooking, cleaning, and child care. The designs of the Craftsman house brought the kitchens into the heart of the home, and made changes such as doing away with the butler’s pantry in exchange for dining areas with built-in cabinetry, and the birth of the breakfast nook. Other characteristics of these homes are; dark wood wainscoting, and moldings, built-in cabinets, or shelving, open floor plans, exposed roof brackets, stone exterior chimneys, stone porch supports, porches with tapered, or square column’s, numerous windows (some with stained or leaded glass), and beamed ceilings.
Gustav Stickley is responsible for coining the phrase “Craftsman”. His simply designed furniture inspired the movement in America in the early 20th century, and he published the first edition of Craftsman Magazine in 1901. Not only did he design furniture, but also homes. He designed plans for both that could be purchased and encouraged the everyday person to make their own!
Unlike the English, Americans embraced industrialization, and saw the machine as a tool to help them improve life. Companies like Sears and Robuck produced furniture modeled after Gustav Stickley’s, designs. And Bungalow and foursquare kit homes could be purchased making the Bungalow a popular, and affordable house for the middle class.
I happen to have a very good example of one of these lovely homes in Colette’s house! Built in 1910, and then moved, and lovingly restored by Colette and her husband, this house is a beautiful representation of this era, and I am proud to share some photos of its craftsman qualities!
I hope you enjoyed this look at the Arts and Crafts era . As always you can find many items from this era at the shop! Hope to see you soon!
On behalf of Team 8